Online marketing is becoming increasingly difficult to succeed in as a continuing marketer, never mind as a new starter! To hope to start marketing in an area of business online at the moment, and at the same time expect to be a market leader within a year is a very unlikely and unrealistic hope. To be honest, if a new marketer came up to me with that aspiration right now - I'd tell them straight that they need to set their expectations differently if they don't want to be disappointed.
Now, I'm not writing this article to dishearten all the potential market leaders out there, that are hoping to jump into the complicated but often-lucrative world of online marketing. Instead I want to share some of my advice on the realities of online marketing, in the hope that this will increases of taking a leadership role in this community in the future.
Reality Number 1: This will require a significant investment in either time or money, but likely both.
Some people get into online marketing through read free blogs etc, and some may have purchased ebooks on the subject. However if you thought this research would form your initial outlay - you're wrong.
The good online marketing tools cost money - and it certainly adds up. If you're looking to advertise, then you could be paying thousands per month. Web hosting for a website will cost over a hundred per year, and on top of that, extra web-based tools such as keyword research tools (which any market leader will need to achieve a leadership position) also cost money, probably on a monthly basis.
While some forms of marketing is 'free', these will usually only form part of your arsenal, so be sure to budget in these cost.
Reality Number 2 - Becoming a market leader is a lot trickier than simply taking an online leadership course. You'll probably need to also innovate beyond what any course will tell you. This means you will either have to develop market leading ideas yourself, or perhaps be closely linked with a 'group-tank' style community which will at least give you access to the top quartile of knowledge on a subject. An example of this will be specialist forums etc that exist for your particular content topic, or marketing.
Reality Number 3 - The market is generally dominated by a few, silently making a lot of money, surrounded by absolutely thousands making a 'small' amount of money. When seeking out advice, it is important to make sure that the people who are actually earning a lot (and are keeping quiet about it due to not wanting to divulge secrets), do not get screamed out by the masses of mediocre marketers.
In conclusion - Taking a leadership position in any given niche or market, WILL Cost you a significant initial outlay, and will also require you to think beyond what you knew at the outset, i.e. you will have to work beyond the blueprint you were given.